Women Talking

Written by:
Miriam Toews
Narrated by:
Matthew Edison

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2019
5 hours 58 minutes
A transformative and necessary work--as completely unexpected as it is inspired--by the award-winning author of the bestselling novels All My Puny Sorrows and A Complicated Kindness. Based on actual events that happened between 2005 and 2009 in a remote Mennonite community where more than 100 girls and women were drugged unconscious and assaulted in the night by what they were told (by the men of the colony) were 'ghosts' or 'demons,' Miriam Toews' bold and affecting novel Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events. The novel takes place over forty-eight hours, as eight women gather in secret in a neighbour's barn while the men are in a nearby town posting bail for the attackers. They have come together to debate, on behalf of all the women and children in the community, whether to stay or leave before the men return. Taking minutes is the one man trusted and invited by the women to witness the conversation--a former outcast whose own surprising story is revealed as the women speak. By turns poignant, witty, acerbic, bitter, tender, devastating, and heartbreaking, the voices in this extraordinary novel are unforgettable. Toews has chosen to focus the novel tightly on a particular time and place, and yet it contains within its 48 hours and setting inside a hayloft an entire vast universe of thinking and feeling about the experience of women (and therefore men, too) in our contemporary world. In a word: astonishing.
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It was an interesting concept but it was kind of slow. It served to drag on and not really focus on one point.

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It was slow and repetitive.

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Cyn K.

This is a quiet book that introduced to me a culture entirely outside of my experience. The device of using August Epp's, a man and the narrator, character to take down dictation of the womens' conversations creates an intriguing layering to the story that is fraught with meaning. The context and premise of the story as a response to the very real and violent crimes committed against women in this society added a gravity to the story that wouldn't have otherwise existed. It took me a little bit to figure out what was going on and to begin to distinguish the voices of the women, but these questions eventually work themselves out.

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